Spice Bazaar (Woodbury, MN)


Yesterday we went back to pick up takeout from Indian Masala (at the southern end of Maplewood where it’s almost Woodbury). As we did on our last takeout run there, we stopped first for a walk on the trails by the Battle Creek dog park. Here we discovered that those trails are now closed for anything but skiing. Luckily, the walking trail on the other side of Upper Afton road was open for regular bidness and we got in a nice walk around that area with friends we’ve met for these walks a few times during the pandemic. When we got done with the walk we still had 30 minutes before our takeout pickup time (I’d placed the order the night before) and so we repaired to Woodbury proper to check out a South Asian grocery there that I’d read about on the excellent East Metro Foodies Facebook group: Spice Bazaar. There were some things I needed to buy—curry leaves, ginger etc,—and it seemed like a good opportunity to see what else could be combined with Indian Masala outings in the future. Herewith a quick look at the store.

As per the sign by the door, the store opened in 2015. I’m not sure if there are or were other desi markets there prior to their opening but if not this suggests that this part of the metro has only recently gained an appreciable South Asian population. That population is likely growing. An even larger place is due to open in a few months—with a deli attached. I’ll be sure to come back to check them out as well. I do hope that the new, shinier place will not spell doom for Spice Bazaar, which is not the shiniest—or largest—store but carries most things you’d hope to find. All the major genres are covered from snacks to frozen foods; from grains to flours; all the major dals and beans; whole spices and packaged spice mixes; teas to soft drinks; you can even buy a nice pressure cooker for a non-extortionate price. It may not be as large as TBS Mart in Bloomington or the India Spice House grocery in Eden Prairie—to say nothing of the massive Pooja Groceries up on Central Avenue in Hilltop—but unless you are looking for something very specific they likely have you covered.

And as of 2017 they’ve also opened a halal meat and frozen fish department, not within the main store but a couple of doors down. I assume this was due to an inability to acquire the adjoining real estate. The selection here was not vast yesterday. The fish freezer was largely empty and the only goat on offer was pre-cut boneless. As to whether the usual offering is wider, I cannot say. By the way, it appears from a sign in the main store that they may have also acquired a market and deli in Plymouth named Kadai Foods. This may be another place whose food may be worth checking out.

Anyway, here’s a look at the store. If you have any questions about any of the listed items please ask. I can’t promise I’ll know the answer but I can always make up a story if I don’t.

The last photograph is of Yang’s Chinese  Restaurant in the adjoining strip mall. Anyone have any intel on them? Worth a stop or is it Ye Olde American Chinese classics that will likely be identical to versions closer to home? Oh yes, we very much enjoyed the food from Indian Masala again. Unlike on our first outing, our order today was all North Indian. That report will be posted on Tuesday (probably).


 

9 thoughts on “Spice Bazaar (Woodbury, MN)

  1. Looks like a very good stock in a fairly small space. At your recommendation, I visited TBS Mart — umm, before pandemic — and this looks to be maybe a little smaller?

    It would be interesting to be able to associate the various food marts with their more popular general markets; for example, Desi Foods in Eagan reminds me of the corner SuperValu supermarket in size, scope, produce quality, prices, etc. Patel’s strikes me as more higher end (not sure why; maybe it’s that they have a meat counter and what seemed to me to be a fair selection of cosmetics and non-food items). I don’t know if Pooja more closely resembles a Cub or Hy-Vee — or neither. But because any of them are a drive away for many of us, that kind of association might be helpful in choosing a store at which to shop (“Great groceries but produce was marginal on all my visits,” etc.)

    It also would be interesting (OK, to me, anyway) to see your views on the Indian foods (produce, meat, groceries) available at larger Asian markets like Dragon Star in St. Paul and United Noodle in Minneapolis. Are they too small to bother with or OK in a pinch?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, this is quite a bit smaller than TBS Mart.

      Once the pandemic ends I’ll step up the larger Asian grocery/market coverage. Haven’t been to United Noodles for a long time, and somehow never to Dragon Star.

      Also, I have no idea why but this was sitting in the “spam” folder. I looked after seeing your comment on Twitter (assuming this was you). Alas, I’m not seeing the comment referred to in that Twitter conversaton—I do dump the spam folder every few weeks as it’s 99.9999% true spam usually; I guess I’ll look more closely going forward.

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  2. Yang’s used to be good, but IMHO it has declined from what it once was, and it is mostly your typical American Chinese classics. I would spend my food dollars and calories elsewhere. Ronally’s Pizza next door or maybe two doors down is a different story if you like MN style pizza.

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  3. Happy to have stumbled onto your blog! I live a bit east of the St. Croix river, so my trips to the area don’t happen that often. Happy to see the Spice Bazaar will be re-opening soon. I agree with your observations but I do have one concern when shopping here. I NEVER know how much the items are that I’m getting as I usually find the shelves a little disorganized and poorly labeled. That being said, I can’t say I have ever been truly disappointed as the bottom line always seems reasonable and I am happy there is a place on the east side to find the products. I hope the larger space will help with the organization issues and I’m excited to see what else I might find when they re-open. Honestly, I would probably purchase more if I knew how much I was spending-

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